William Tyndale – Criminal or Christian martyr?


 

A Tyndale Bible, displayed at the Bodleian Library in June 2014, photo by Steve Bennett (stevage)

A Tyndale Bible, displayed at the Bodleian Library in June 2014, photo by Steve Bennett (stevage), Wikimedia Commons.


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Answering The Catholic Thinker

William Tyndale: Victim or Criminal?

In reality, Tyndale was a criminal, a breaker of the law. He knew very well that it was illegal to make an unauthorized translation. A look at the facts behind Tyndale’s death should scatter the notion that Catholics murdered him for simply translating the Bible, just another fanciful “history” of the Catholic Church.

Patrick E. Devens

 

File:Foxe's Book of Martyrs - Tyndale.jpg

Preparations to burn the body of William Tyndale. John Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, 1563. Tyndale was strangled and then his body was burned.

 

 

With other readers I tried to defend Tyndale to Patrick. Patrick wasn’t convinced and could only see Tyndale as a criminal. Having thought this over, I’m learning at last that Protestants and Evangelicals – Bible believers – cannot win The Argument with Rome or its followers, but in spite of this fact must answer from the Word of God. Catholics will answer back with “Who gave you the Bible? We did!”, but we will have honored the Lord Jesus Christ – praise Him forever!

So here is a Biblical answer to Patrick who maintains that as a lawbreaker Tyndale deserved to be punished; and that it was the State that executed him and that the Church of Rome didn’t have much to do with this. 

Acts 5

17 But the high priest rose up, along with all his associates (that is the sect of the Sadducees), and they were filled with jealousy. 18 They laid hands on the apostles and put them in a public jail. 19 But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the gates of the prison, and taking them out he said, 20 “Go, stand and speak to the people in the temple the whole message of this Life.” 21 Upon hearing this, they entered into the temple about daybreak and began to teach.

Now when the high priest and his associates came, they called the Council together, even all the Senate of the sons of Israel, and sent orders to the prison house for them to be brought. 22 But the officers who came did not find them in the prison; and they returned and reported back, 23 saying, “We found the prison house locked quite securely and the guards standing at the doors; but when we had opened up, we found no one inside.” 24 Now when the captain of the temple guard and the chief priests heard these words, they were greatly perplexed about them as to what would come of this. 25 But someone came and reported to them, “The men whom you put in prison are standing in the temple and teaching the people!” 26 Then the captain went along with the officers and proceeded to bring them back without violence (for they were afraid of the people, that they might be stoned).

27 When they had brought them, they stood them before the Council. The high priest questioned them, 28 saying, “We gave you strict orders not to continue teaching in this name, and yet, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.” 29 But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men. 30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you had put to death by hanging Him on a cross. 31 He is the one whom God exalted to His right hand as a Prince and a Savior, to grant repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. 32 And we are witnesses of these things; and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him.”

33 But when they heard this, they were cut to the quick and intended to kill them.

34 But a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the Law, respected by all the people, stood up in the Council and gave orders to put the men outside for a short time.

35 And he said to them, “Men of Israel, take care what you propose to do with these men. 36 For some time ago Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody, and a group of about four hundred men joined up with him. But he was killed, and all who followed him were dispersed and came to nothing. 37 After this man, Judas of Galilee rose up in the days of the census and drew away some people after him; he too perished, and all those who followed him were scattered. 38 So in the present case, I say to you, stay away from these men and let them alone, for if this plan or action is of men, it will be overthrown; 39 but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them; or else you may even be found fighting against God.”

40 They took his advice; and after calling the apostles in, they flogged them and ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and then released them. 41 So they went on their way from the presence of the Council, rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for His name. 42 And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they kept right on teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.


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Resources for studying William Tyndale, Christian Martyr

William Tyndale’s Life and Work

The History of Protestantism by ‘James Aitken Wylie, Book 23 — Protestantism in England From the Times of Henry VIII, Chapter 4 — Tyndale’s New Testament arrives in England

Read The Tyndale Bible, at Bible Study Tools

 


 

 

What Kind of “Reformation” Does Pope Francis Have in Mind?

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Vatican Files

Evangelical Theological Perspectives on Roman Catholicism

As the Pope commemorates the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, what he has in mind is an altogether different kind of reformation, i.e. a reformation that will make his church more catholic and more Roman, doubtfully more evangelical.

LEONARDO DE CHIRICO

What Kind of “Reformation” Does Pope Francis Have in Mind?


Leonardo De Chirico (1967) planted and pastored a Reformed Baptist church in Ferrara (northern Italy) from 1997 to 2009. Since 2009 he has been involved in a church planting project in Rome and is now pastor of the church Breccia di Roma…
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A moment for the Reformation – The Reformers were only human

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Hebrews 12:1-3

NKJV

12 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.


We Are Sons and Daughters of the Reformation

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A few moments on the Reformation – Music to lift out hearts and minds to Jesus!

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Revelation 1

John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne; and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.


Martin Luther, in His Own Words

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One minute on the Reformation – Glorious music to lift the heart and mind to Jesus!

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Colossians 3

NKJV

If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.


A Ligonier Ministries sound byte:

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Forgive the image of the crucifix, a forbidden thing!

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